Sunday, December 29, 2013

10 Things I've Learnt From Romance Novels

While I've been missing in action on this blog, and in between the times where I'm studying, I've been reading a whole bunch of romance novels. Like maybe at least 5 a week? (Re-readings included) I might be posting a 2013 list of books I found and absolutely loved, I also did learn a couple of stuff from romance novels.

However, taking into account that I'm not attached, take what I say with a pinch of salt at times. I may be incredibly biased as a hopeless romantic who does not believe love occurs in reality. Plus the fact that I may be joking at times, or most of the times.

PS. This post contains swear words and some dirty stuff. No worries. It's all PG in writing. I hope.

#1: Successful billionaires are all incredibly good-looking but somewhat fucked up
 I bet the first thing you thought about was 50 Shades, but there are so many other series' (be it inspired by 50 Shades or not) actually have their male leads of such characters. Plus they all seem to have big dicks. (you did not read this)

Considering I can't think of a single billionaire who made their own success story and is actually good-looking, I'm calling bullshit on this. I mean I totally get it. Girls like the alpha males who can provide for them (since they're billionaires), are good looking (so your kids will never get bad genes) and are incredibly charismatic (from the whole 'bad boy' vibe because they are totally fucked up). I get it, I get it. It sells especially with Christian Grey setting the precedence for ideal men.

#2: It's entirely OK to pick phones up from bins and keep them for yourself

If you're a Sophie Kinsella fan, you would have picked up which book this point came from. (pun intended)

In case you're wondering, this line is from I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella and I just had to put this in for the fun of it. Then again, who knows? Maybe you'll just fall in love with the guy who owns that very phone. This learning point could very well be the start of your ultimate love story.

#3: A lot of women like kinky sex
With 50 Shades and other series like the Stark Trilogy by J. Kenner and the After Dark series by Sadie Matthews (just to name a few), there has to be a market for kinky sex books right? Or erotica if I'm being picky about genre. I'm obviously one of the people out there who's part of that market since I read all these books, so I'm not judging anyone here. I totally get how it's hot even though you may not actually want to do some of those stuff in reality.

So... I came to the conclusion that all women probably have this urge for kinky sex but may not decide to voice out their kinkiness and instead decide to live it out in the lives of the Annas and Nikkis in these books.

Books are called girl porn for a reason, aren't they?

#4: You and your besties will fall in love with guys who are best buds
This has to be the ideal scenario right? You meet someone, and your besties fall for their best friends, and we all end up as one big happy family. I can name so many of my favorite books who go on about such scenarios.

Just to name a few, some include Friend-Zoned by Belle Aurora, The Love Game by Emma Hart, Taking Shots (Assassins #1) by Toni Aleo, Wallbanger by Alice Clayton and This Man Trilogy by Jodi Ellen Malpas. But, I would say there is one book that simply embodies this (and is my favoritest book) is Boycotts and Barflies by Victoria Michaels.

What's better than falling in love together with your besties then having girls' nights dedicated to talking about these amazing guys right? I know I'd love one.

#5: You can find amazingly hot mountain men when you travel to some small town in the mountains

This is a conspiration. Nature's hiding all the good men in places where we get little or no access to the internet and the outside world. Usually, I'd be totally against going somewhere where I can't contact anyone from the real world, but the idea of staying somewhere with a hunky mountain man at my disposal (like in The Gamble by Kristen Ashley and Trouble by Samantha Towle)? You can bring me to the mountains any day my friend.

#6: Women like dominating alpha males whom they can submit to
I'm using 'they' because I wouldn't call myself a woman at this point in time, but back to the whole alpha male thing. Because they all own empires, they're naturally dominants and the female leads tend to submit to them more often than not. I swear this is all over the place. From 50 Shades to Insufferable Proximity by Z. Stefani to Up In The Air Trilogy by R.K. Kelly.

I don't know why I read these books to be honest. Being a feminist, I get so pissed when I find strong women submitting to alpha males. It boggles my mind how someone so confident and successful in their work and personal lives be willing to submit to a guy. It just doesn't make sense. Then again, I'm highly D (dominant) on my DISC personality test, so that says something about why I get so worked up I guess.

Nonetheless, it seems that we do like the hot dominating alpha males who insist on dictating our every move (and are often right on every count. Weird.).

#7: It is NOT OK for men to hit you
This I definitely stand by. It's probably one of the few things on this list I'm serious about. I've been reading a couple of books where female leads escape the men who beat them (like the Rook & Ronin series by JA Huss and Trouble by Samantha Towle), and I stand by the view that it is definitely NOT OK for a man to find any reason to hit a woman. Alpha males can be charming as hell, but there's a difference between dominating in the bedroom and being violent. Even books explain this to you.

The one bad thing I've got from reading these books is a fear of finding a guy who would hit me should I ever decide to get together with one. Looks are deceiving (even I behave differently at home), so how will I ever know?

#8: Beware of the Stockholm Syndrome
Yes, the darling Stockholm Syndrome. It seems to happen when we least expect it. While Taken by Kelli Maine gives a sweet take to the female lead getting the stockholm syndrome and later on falling in love with a marvelous man who loves her. (Plus the fact it's not a violent book)

On the other end of the spectrum, you find books like The Dark Duet Trilogy by CJ Roberts and Consequences Trilogy by Aleatha Romig that leave me very disturbed by the presence of the stockholm syndrome. How someone can fall in love with men so violent is beyond me. The thought just leaves me with a sick aftertaste...

While the stories are definitely intriguing, I definitely hope this never happens in reality. So as a general rule to everyone out there, BEWARE. The Stockholm Syndrome is real and deadly.

#9: Some gigolos are misunderstood beings
 Price of a Kiss by Linda Kane definitely tells you this very message, and some of the things people choose to do are really not by choice.

I guess the real thing to learn here is that there is good in everybody. Damn, didn't that sound philosophical and worldly. But it's true, I guess. I try my best to be a 'glass half-full' kind of person, so I do try to see things from different points of view. You may come from a bad background and am looking to change or get out like Marcus DeLuca in the Disastrous Series by EL Montes, or really trying to change your playboy ways as Aiden did in The Proposition Series by Katie Ashley, I try to believe there is something good in people that we may not notice until we get to know them for who they are trying to become and not for who they are.

To conclude, don't judge people too much. Some of these 'gigolos' are probably misunderstood people who really did not have much choice in the matter.

#10: Sometimes you just have to believe in yourself
Being a female, I know how insecure we get at times. I guess the big thing that romance novels taught me is to believe in myself, that good things can happen to us, and that we may just find the guy of our dreams. (Though I'm still skeptical about that)

So many romance novels talk about how the female leads just lack that little bit of self confidence to believe in the many wonderful things happening around them. Take Boycotts & Barflies by Victoria Michaels, Take Me by Bella Andre or Come Away With Me by Kristen Proby for example.

But I'm really not just talking about believing in love. It's believing in yourself period. Hey, if girls like confident men, it's only fitting that we be confident of ourselves too right? And by confident, I don't mean egotistical.

Well, that sums up the 10 things I've learnt from romance novels, so drop me a comment to tell me what you think!

xoxo pamela

Monday, December 9, 2013

Movie Review: The Hunger Games - Catching Fire

I contemplated sleeping... then I decided I just HAD to blog about this movie I caught over the weekend.

Before you say anything, I did not manage to catch the movie in its opening week because of my finals, and I did not read the books, so I'm not exactly a biased source when it comes to this review considering how I am was not joining the craze back when the first movie came out.

The Hunger Games was good. Hell, it was one of the movies that brought Jennifer Lawrence into the arena of devastatingly charming and beautiful stars we can't ignore and simply adore. However, Catching Fire is really the movie that sold me on the entire Hunger Games Trilogy. The movie is THAT good.

Some notable moments that really left a big impression on me:

This outfit. I simply adore Jennifer Lawrence (or Katniss Everdeen) in this outfit. When I saw it, I was immediately in lust with it. Then the fire came on. Damn, I loved how the fire started from her chest and trailed to the ends of the dress. It was really good work with the effects, and I absolutely loved it. Plus the reason why the fire came on at the specific moment.

While everyone was falling in love with Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, I was totally digging how hot Sam Claflin looked as he played Finnick Odair in Catching Fire. Who wouldn't? Good looks, devastating bod...
I mean, tell me if you can resist such delicious hotness? I know I can't.

Another scene that really caught my attention is when this dress appeared. To save you from me and my bad behavior of giving spoilers, I'm going to let those of you who haven't seen it go figure it out yourselves. Hint: There's a reason why she's called the Girl on Fire

Amazing scenes aside, Catching Fire adds a lot more depth and meaning into the story, drawing you to the multiple dimensions of the film, providing you more insight into some characters, as well as giving you so much more room to think of the depth and meanings of the various scenes both during and after the film. (but it may just be my movie buff self who's so intrigued)

I particularly like how the movie emphasized so much on hope of the people, and how it can ultimately lead to great things, as well as the part where you see the tributes of such different personalities work together to eliminate the competition. These things just add so much more meaning to the film, and its really up to you how you decide to interpret these aspects. I know I have been thinking all weekend and I still feel as if I am only scratching the surface of it. Thank god I'm on holiday so I do have the luxury of spending my days thinking.

Seeing that I've said quite a bit, here's what I think of Catching Fire:

Never thought I'd rate a movie as high as this, but I really just did. (I just checked. I rated Oz a 5, but considering so much time has passed, I'd say this rating means more of a 'YOU NEED TO WATCH IT 10 TIMES MORE THAN OZ' kind of rating. Not that I don't love Oz, but... times change)

If you do decide to watch Catching Fire, I'd say the best part comes at the end. Which is probably why I have not been finding pictures to justify it, because you just have to see it for yourself. And for those book fans who are afraid of disappointment (that always seems to happen), my friend did say he wasn't disappointed with the film and he really liked it.

Well, for all of you who have caught this movie, do tell me what you think! I know I absolutely loved loved LOVED it, and I'm definitely sold on the Hunger Games now that I've watched Catching Fire!

xoxo pamela